Last night during our family worship time, Jeff read to us from Colossians 3 and 4. This verses from chapter three, though, really stood out to me.
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through Him. Colossians 3: 12-17
As he was reading I could see each one of us getting dressed each morning and adding on each of these qualities layer upon layer. How good and pleasant would it be if we could just go to our closets or drawers and physically PUT these qualities upon our bodies. Oh, if it were as easy as that!! Dressing ourselves each day with all of the following traits:
-bearing with one another
-forgiving one another
Sounds almost impossible, doesn't it? And it is! It is only through Christ's righteousness that we can exhibit any of these qualites and even then it isn't always easy. I fail. every. single. day. At the end of a busy day of homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, errand running and child training it is so easy to think only of myself, to get tired of answering just one more question, of listening to one more piece on the piano, to hear the constant drumming, banging, snapping that one son MUST do (he has so much music and rhythm within him that it MUST come out!), one more dish to wash, one more load of laundry to fold....It's tiring and I snap, fail. But then I remember that even though I do struggle, I do not depend upon my own works for salvation. I can rest on HIS righteousness and not my own weak self. How wonderful and precious is that?
The following poem, written many, many years ago by Charitie Lees De Chenez is so special to me. I cannot get through singing it at church without tears, but the third stanza is generally where I break down. Yes, I will strive to clothe myself in all the qualities listed in Colosians 3, but will daily remember that Christ has paid it all and has clothed me, even me, with His righteousness.
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
A great High Priest, whose Name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven in His hands.
My name is written on His heart;
I know that, while in heaven He stands.
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him, and pardon me.
Behold Him there! the risen Lamb!
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace!
One with Himself, I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Saviour and my God.